Friday, March 01, 2013

Sequestration – the Day After Deadline - The Sky Has Not Fallen – Yet (Is the warning) – Dem. Controlled Senate failed to pass bill? Government Employees bemoan Loss of Bonuses! The Pain! The Drama!

Sequestration and the drama – more boring that Housework! – Image and Insulting Article from the New York Times: What Housework has to do with Waistlines” - Ladies, grab your aprons! (This article should bother more than half of the population more than the orchestrated chaos of Washington.)

For all the fear and partisan finger pointing taking place the past few months, as the latest in a series of “sky is falling” crises, came to an abrupt end – and the result – the nation yawned. There are those still beating the drum however, the Boston Globe reports: Budget Cuts Long Term Effects Still Unclear, offers the following as to what took place:

Democrats and Republicans did offer alternatives to the cuts in the Senate on Thursday. But neither had the needed 60 votes to break a filibuster. The Democrats’ proposal, replacing the across-the-board cuts with targeted reductions and closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, was defeated 51-49. The GOP’s legislation offered Obama greater flexibility in slashing the budget, but that plan was defeated 38-62, amid concerns among some about giving too much power to the White House over spending.

Understanding that when the words “Republicans in Congress” is used as a rallying cry for all that is wrong in Washington by certain others in Washington, the nation does not connect Congress with the Senate, which is a Democrat controlled body. Apparently, both had offered solutions, and those solutions did not appear to be solid enough to drag over a few Republicans or Democrats to either side, and the timing of the Senate, not the Congress, also appears to be somewhat last minute – considering the “danger” of lost police, teachers, closed daycares, and longer unemployment lines looming.

Meanwhile, BET reports, the President has begun to “back peddle” and soften his tone:

What happened to the shock and devastation that was supposed to ensue right away? Where is the hyperbole and saber-rattling that flooded the airwaves until now? Visions of starving children running the streets and military men and women without ammunition had, until this point, danced in some people's heads as the administration made the case for why Congress needed to act now.

You're likely wondering, "Why the shift in tone? Why is it that the sky is apparently not going to fall after all?"

Conservatives believe that the president's warnings amounted to no more than hyped-up hysterics. But there may be a number of reasons why Obama changed his tune. Perhaps he was concerned that he had overplayed his hand in the hard press to put pressure on Congress. At the risk of appearing to be the boy who cried wolf, the administration cut off criticism at the pass by "clarifying" its message before the pending deadline arrived.

So it appears that the sky will not be falling tomorrow after all, or next week or next month for that matter. And whether we're facing a jump off of a cliff or simply a steady tumble downward, the end result is something that our lawmakers should work to avoid.

The sarcasm in journalism award this week goes to BET.

Next up at the Voice of America, the blame game continues:

.S. President Barack Obama is due to meet at the White House Friday with top Republican and Democratic lawmakers to discuss a last-ditch effort to avoid across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to take effect before the day is over.

The meeting is largely viewed as symbolic, after dueling bills to avoid the cuts were defeated in the Senate Thursday, making $85 billion in automatic spending cuts appear inevitable once the Friday deadline passes.

President Obama has said the effects of the cuts on federal agencies - most notably defense, infrastructure spending, public schools and preschool care - will not be felt immediately, but instead will have what he calls a "tumble downward" effect. That means, the longer the cuts remain in place, the worse the damage they will cause.

Defense employees are expected to be forced to take unpaid time off work, while funding for big infrastructure projects will eventually halt.

States also would feel the effects, with fewer federal dollars coming in.

President Obama is blaming Republicans for the impasse, saying they voted to put the entire burden of deficit reduction on the middle class. Obama and many Democrats want to eliminate certain tax breaks for the wealthy to raise revenue along with spending cuts as a way to reduce the budget deficit.

Darn those Republican’s (and the Democrat Controlled Senate under the watchful eyes of Harry Reid), for not bucking up and saving the nation! – Yet they are meeting today to come up with some “last-ditch-effort” that barely anyone knows or cares about.

Unless one is Bob Woodward, and now that he’s dared to shed some light on the entire subject of an Obama Sequestration Plan gone wrong, his colleagues are beginning to turn on him. (Poltico) of course, if one were Woodward, calling those crying “foul, old man, who’s a liar,” colleges would be a stretch, to say the least – Wish they were Woodward’s’, more like it, but a moot point. (A side note: Lanny Davis, of Clinton White House fame, who is now a pundit on several cable news networks – is backing up the “White House threatened me not to write about..” Woodward claim, noting the Obama administration has done the same to him.)

The entire non-crisis appears to be much ado about nothing, as the deadline passed to “save jobs, babies, and the seas from rising” there appears to be a :”Last ditch effort!!”a day later.

Bets are still on the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to do an about face, and cozy up to tax hikes and no cuts whatsoever (which amounted to a slight increase in already inflated and increased spending levels that, without a budget, are somewhat fluid. Therefore, what’s all the drama about? One knows that the Congress (which holds the nations checkbook) has passed, along with the Senate, band aids from time to time, raising debt ceilings, ad raising spending, adding amendments to bills that have nothing to do with budgets. In other words, it’s all smoke,, mirrors and the never ending campaign trail that is DC, on both sides of the aisle. One might be tempted to blame the President for the phenomena, however, anyone with a pulse should understand – it’s the whole lot of them. Of course, those government employees who won’t be seeing bonuses as a result of this crisis, are clearly upset! (Washington Times). Government employee bonuses? Just let that sink in and attach the word crisis to understand the ridiculous idiots who are running our nation, are doing so on our dime and passing laws that pertain to our health, welfare and of course, any wealth we have left.

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